Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Glenn Gardone of RED Chocolate: Business Challenges & Successes

Welcome to the interview series with Jesse Samberg. Today, we have the pleasure of speaking with Glenn Gardone, the founder of RED Chocolate. With over 30 years of experience in the Consumer Packaged Goods industry, Glenn has navigated through various challenges and successes in his business journey. From overcoming the obstacles presented by the ‘Covid’ year to building brand loyalty and tackling competitors with weak product offerings, Glenn shares his insights on how he has steered RED Chocolate towards growth and success. Join us as we delve into Glenn’s unforgettable experiences with customers, his future plans for the business, and the unique hurdles he faces in the small business landscape. Let’s get started with Jesse Samberg leading the conversation.

Interviewee Name: Glenn Gardone

Company: RED Chocolate

Intervirew Host: Jesse Samberg

The Interview

Let’s get started. First, we’d like to know more about how you started your business journey

Glenn Gardone : I have been in the Consumer Packaged Goods industry for over 30 years and I have had the chance to work with some amazing people and some very good companies. I’ve learned what is important and what will be remembered and now I try to focus the majority of my time on the actions that will deliver above my expectations. This journey has taken many turns was filled with uneven roads and many detours but I continue to learn and continue to try and be a better leader and person.

Reflecting on your business history, what stands out as the single greatest challenge you’ve successfully navigated, and how did you overcome it?

Glenn Gardone : The single greatest challenge in my career was navigating through the ‘Covid’ year. From safely working with the team to getting our message to the consumer in a different way that we’ve done previously over the years. It was like changing a flat tire on a moving car. We didn’t have experience with what was happening but we had a business that needed to grow and be profitable while attempting new way to build our trial and awareness.

Businesses often face ongoing challenges. What does your business consistently grapple with, and how do you tackle these challenges head-on?

Glenn Gardone : Our business grapples with past competitors and their weak product offerings. Many consumers who tried our competitors over the years have trepidation on trying a new brand since they have a history and worry about repeating that terrible experience. Our growth through our repeat purchases and educating future consumers of the brand has been what’s driven our success. We knew we had to face this challenge and work on correcting it every day.

Can you share with us the most unforgettable story involving a customer or client? What made it memorable, and what lessons did you draw from the experience?

Glenn Gardone : On one of my first appearances on HSN, we spoke about who buys RED Chocolate and I mentioned I loved talking to consumers. I walked off the set and I had a message on my phone from my assistant. she told me that Ellie had called and wanted to speak to me. I called and ‘Ellie’ answered. She laughed and said–“this isn’t the Glenn that was just on TV” and i said that i was him. She told me she bet an order of RED Chocolate with her best friend and she didn’t think I’d ever call her. It taught me a few lessons, #1. If you say you do it, you better do it. #2 A consumer loves interaction and a feeling of respect. #3 Its not a transaction, it is a relationship that needs to be nurtured.

Looking ahead, what are your current plans for your business when you retire?

Glenn Gardone : I’m not sure if I’d ever retire as I enjoy and respect the team I get to work with and I love the business that I get to lead. If I did retire, we have a very strong group of leaders at RED Chocolate and many of them are capable of running RED Chocolate.

Navigating the small business landscape can be both challenging and rewarding. Can you share a bit about the specific hurdles you’ve encountered in areas like sales, marketing, and adapting to changing customer trends?

Glenn Gardone : The biggest hurdle is the fact that we don’t have specific defined roles as most employees step in where needed to help the business grow. It isn’t uncommon for a team member in marketing to help out on the ecommerce shipping line to help get packages out. We’ve also had members of our supply chain team help with marketing initiatives. We are too busy and to focused on growing to say ‘it’s not my role at RED”. It takes a special individual that enjoys being counted on everyday at work and is willing to help wherever needed.

Leaders Perception magazine would like to thank Glenn Gardone and “RED Chocolate “ for the time dedicated to completing this interview and sharing their valuable insights with our readers!

Interested in connecting with the host of this interview series? Feel free to reach out to Jesse Samberg on LinkedIn: Jesse Samberg’s LinkedIn Profile

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